Open Secrets: Now Paying for Personal Essays (Submission Guidelines)

Open Secrets is an online magazine that publishes memorable and revealing personal essays on the topics we are taught to keep “secret.”

They were created by Rachel Kramer Bussel after several personal essay outlets closed in 2023. She wanted to “provide a home for the kinds of powerful essays she enjoys reading.”

When the publication was initially launched, Rachel guaranteed publication and funding until September 2023. They’re currently seeking essays for the rest of the year, which bodes well for the future of the publication, though it’s certainly not guaranteed.

They are open to essays (1,000 to 1,500 words) on all personal experiences. They pay authors $100 per essay.

They publish one essay per week, and cover a wide range of topics, including “personal relationships to mental health and physical health to LGBTQIA+ life, grief, love, career/work, parenting, our attachments to our belongings, addiction, identity, and beyond.”

They ask for 90 day exclusivity for an article, after which rights revert back to the author. This strikes me as more than fair.

For more information, and to submit an essay, refer to this page.


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